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Back in the swing: Thomson High Bulldogs start of regular season Tuesday

It won't be a real game on Saturday - only a scrimmage game between the Thomson High School Bulldogs and Greenbrier High Wolfpack from neighboring Columbia County.

But with every pitch of the seven-inning game that starts at 1 p.m., you can bet that players and coaches from both teams will be taking it seriously.

The regular season doesn't begin until next season when Thomson battles Jefferson County's Warriors at Thomson High School. Game time is set for 5 p.m.

"We only have four seniors on the team, so we're going to be basically a young team." said Thomson Head Coach Terry Holder, who enters his third season. "It looks like we're going to be starting three freshmen."

The seniors on the team are Stephen Krepps, Westin Meehan, Clint Rushing and Austin Phillips.

Krepps, the team's starting pitcher last season, is expected to return to that role again.

"He threw a lot of innings for us last season," Coach Holder said. "He's having to work on a few problems right now, but we think he'll get through those problems and have a good season for us. He just needs to work hard to get himself to the caliber of player that he can become."

Meehan, who played backup catcher and designated hitter last season, is expected to become the starting catcher.

"We're looking for some good things from him this season," Coach Holder added. "He started showing a lot of leadership skills after we went to Mississippi State last year. And we're hoping those leadership skills are going to continue throughout the season."

Jonathan Talkington, a junior, meanwhile, also is expected to see action behind the plate.

"He's showing a lot of good signs in practice lately for us," Coach Holder said.

Rushing is a southpaw relief pitcher.

The other senior is Phillips, who has played second base for the last two years.

"We're expecting a lot of good things from him at second base, as well as with the bat," Coach Holder said.

Zack Washington, a junior, who shows lots of signs of quickness, is expected to anchor shortstop.

Holding down first base will be Will Anderson, a junior. Considered the No. 3 starting pitcher, he will yield that position to his younger brother, Phillip Anderson, a freshman, when his time comes to pitch. The younger Anderson is considered the No. 2 starting pitcher for the Bulldogs.

"Both of those kids hold a lot of promise," the veteran legendary baseball coach continued.

The likely starting third baseman will be freshman Nick Rau, whose father, Carl, played under Coach Holder when he coached many years ago at Evans High School.

When it comes to the outfield, it's still "an unsettled matter" at this time.

Coach Holder believes that Dontavious Brown will become the team's new center fielder, replacing Anthony "Pooh" Erwin, who graduated and now plays at USC-Aiken.

Krepps is expected to play right field some when he's not pitching, while Cody Ewest, a sophomore, is likely to be shifted from his right field starting position of a year ago to starting left fielder.

Other Bulldogs figured to see action from time to time in different situations this season include Jake Unokur, a junior, Trey Bailey, a junior and Will Tankersley, a freshman.

"I think we'll get better as a team as the season progresses," Coach Holder said. "We're going to hurt a little bit the first couple of weeks of the baseball season, because several of our kids will be participating in spring football practice, but we'll get through it somehow."

Once again, Coach Holder is assisted by coaches Jason Osborn and Aaron Hall.

Web posted on Thursday, February 21, 2008

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